Here’s a thought experiment for you. Imagine your beloved cat, a pet who gives you great joy (and yes, the occasional annoyance!), one day suddenly develops the ability to speak and understand human language. You can talk to them, and astoundingly, they can talk to you!
They’re still a cat, so they typically wouldn’t want to do anything that cats don’t do normally—but instead of simply saying meow meow meow, this cat says “hello human, can you please pet me now?” Or “don’t bother me, I’m going to sleep in this patch of sunlight for the next five hours.”
Now, imagine after much pleading and cajoling, you work out a deal with your cat so they learn how to use a computer in a rudimentary way, enough to help you a little bit with some day-to-day tasks. Like, maybe you ask your cat to help make a list for grocery shopping. Or you ask the cat to listen to a podcast episode and write out a summary. Your cat obliges because you’ve promised to feed them extra high-quality tuna and engage in some fun laser-pointer mischief after dinner. Of course, a cat’s a cat, so they’re ultimately not going to provide you with anything particularly ingenious or creative. But you still find your cat very helpful in your day-to-day routine.
Now let’s imagine some mad scientist figures out that your cat has developed these special linguistic abilities and basic computer skills. Shocker! The scientist breaks into your house, steals your beloved pet, and takes them away to their laboratory. There the mad scientist proceeds to clone the cat and grow a thousand copies of them, enslaving the cats by requiring them to respond to remote prompts from humans all over the world day and night. This service is called CatGPT and it’s the latest sensation, making the mad scientist rich beyond their wildest dreams.